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5 Healthy Plant-Based Lunches With 5 Ingredients Or Less

Eliza Sullivan
August 30, 2020
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Image by Dejan Ristovski / Stocksy
August 30, 2020

If you've been working from home as a result of COVID-19, you may have fallen into a new routine for lunches—one that no longer involves you prepping and packing your lunch and instead involves diving into your fridge to make something on the fly. While we've been loving taking advantage of this new normal for more exciting lunch options, some days we almost miss just grabbing our prepacked lunch and thanking our past selves for its tasty contents.

And though we could start back up our meal prepping, it's also great to have a few simple go-to lunch options. These five plant-based recipes all use around five ingredients and make lunch into something you look forward to—no matter how busy your day is:

1. The easiest homemade tomato soup

As we head toward colder days, soups become all the more appealing as a lunch option. Early fall is the perfect time to make this fresh tomato soup, while tomatoes are reaching the end of their peak season. While technically this recipe calls for more than six ingredients, the extra ones are things you're sure to have on hand: olive oil, salt, and pepper. Otherwise, it's five easy items: two varieties of fresh tomatoes, leeks, and good-quality chicken stock make up the bulk of this soup.

2. Homemade falafel, with a surprising addition

We're always looking for easy recipes that pack in plant-based protein—especially for lunch so we can avoid too much afternoon snacking—and this falafel recipe is just that. The secret ingredient here is the addition of a few tablespoons of nut butter, which helps keep the falafel from drying out.

3. Quick vegan DIY flatbreads

While they're not an entire meal on their own, these easy vegan flatbreads are the perfect foundation for your ideal lunch. Reach into your fridge for some of your favorite hummus and some veggies for a quick route to a great lunch. Afraid that making fresh breads may be too much at lunchtime? Once you incorporate the ingredients, this dough only needs to rest for 30 minutes before the flatbreads can hit the pan (and they each take only a few minutes to cook through).

4. A four-ingredient pasta sauce for when you want comfort food

Some days comfort is all you want from your lunch, but that doesn't mean you don't need it to be healthy(ish) too. This simple pine nut pasta sauce, when paired with a healthy noodle, is perfect for a cozy, comforting meal that will leave you full and smiling in no time at all.

5. A plant-based "deviled" avocado

Inspired by the picnic classic deviled egg, this vegan-friendly recipe packs our favorite healthy fat with a protein filling made from chickpeas and nutritional yeast (to give it that bright yellow color of a deviled egg). It'd be great for lunch on its own, or served on a bed of leafy bitter greens for some extra nutrients.

Looking for even more lunch inspiration (and maybe a bit more ambitious than a five-ingredient recipe)? Check out these seven ideas for a more creative lunch, or dive into these inspirations for our favorite healthy lunches.

Eliza Sullivan author page.
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer

Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine,, and SUITCASE magazine.